by Shayla Asselin
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I was one year old when my parents came back to Christ. Church is pretty much all I’ve ever known. I went to our church’s private Christian School. My parents were heavily involved in ministries around the church. At the age of 11, I asked Jesus to save me. My life was sheltered - for which I’m very thankful. But at 14, I started really battling mental oppression.
Now, this was years before I had a social media account or was exposed to any secular influences in college. I had no idea why the devil was waging such a war against my mind.
I struggled in silence for two years. Most nights, I would fall asleep crying and whispering the name of Jesus. I learned quickly that the devil had no stronghold when I spoke His name, but I’d wake up every morning to be greeted by the torment of Satan. I was so embarrassed by the battle that I decided it would just be something I had to fight alone. (I'd like to add right here that you do not and should not fight alone. There is strength in community.)
The few moments of peace I had were overshadowed by the fear of the next battle. Just as I knew that God could heal someone of cancer, I knew He could give me peace in my mind. But why was I stuck in this grueling cycle of oppression? I memorized verses. I begged God to give me victory. I sang songs of faith and hope and promise. I fasted more days than I can count. I went to church. I spent hours at the altar. And still I daily waged a war against the enemy for my mind.
At the age of 16, I finally had peace of mind. I didn’t cry myself to sleep anymore. I didn’t wake up bombarded by the attacks of the devil. After a few days of victory had passed, I remember breathing out a big sigh of relief followed by a “Thank You, Jesus.”
I would love to tell you that if you do xyz, you’ll never fight whatever you’re battling today again. But, I think we all know I can’t do that. I can only encourage you to keep waging war. There's no shame in fighting back against the enemy whenever he tries to attack. The only shame is when we as Christians fail to utilize the weapons God has given us. We know that if we keep fight, God has promised that victory will be ours.
Let’s take a look at some verses in 2 Corinthians 10. Verse 3 through 5 reminds us that “we do not war after the flesh. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” This has the idea that we destroy any speculation or argument that opposes the knowledge of God. We are then to control our thoughts to reflect only what is pleasing to Christ. Whenever the enemy tries to raise doubt in your mind or cripple you with insecurities, speak the truth of God's Word over your life and mind. The knowledge of God's Word creates such a defense against the devil.
The reason we must never stop fighting the battle in our mind is found in Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” I never wanted the thoughts the devil was trying to invade my mind with to become who I was. I know from personal experience that fighting the devil for the same thing day after day can be physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausting. But you and I can’t afford to give up. Every morning, we must put on our armor. "Having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:" (Ephesians 14-17)
Don’t surrender. Don’t quit. Your soul is worth fighting for.
As I was writing this blog post, I remembered this song. It was my theme song for those two years. If you need a reminder to keep waging war against the enemy of our souls, I encourage you to take a listen.